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Chapter 15: Seeing the Past as a Dream

22. Let attention be at a place where you are seeing some past happening, and even your form, having lost its present characteristics, is transformed.

23. Feel an object before you. Feel the absence of all other objects but this one. Then, leaving aside the object-feeling and the absence-feeling, realize.

24. When a mood against someone or for someone arises, do not place it on the person in question, but remain centered.

One of the great tantrikas of this age, George Gurdjieff, says that identification is the only sin. The next sutra, the tenth sutra on centering - which we are going to penetrate tonight - is concerned with identification. So first be crystal clear on what identification means.

You were a child once; now you are not. Someone becomes young, someone becomes old, and childhood becomes a past thing. Youth has gone, but still you are identified with your childhood. You cannot see it as happening to someone else; you cannot be a witness to it. Whenever you see your childhood, you are not aloof from it, you are one with it. Whenever someone remembers his youth, he is one with it.

Really, now it is just a dream. And if you can see your childhood as a dream, as a film passing before you and you are not identified with it, you are just a witness, you will achieve a very subtle insight into yourself. If you see your past as a film, as a dream - you are not part of it, you are just out of it. and really you are - then many things will happen. If you are thinking about your childhood, you are not in it - you cannot be. The childhood is just a memory, just a past memory. You are remaining aloof and looking at it. You are different: you are a witness. If you can feel this witnessing and then see your childhood as a film on a screen, many things will happen.

One: if childhood has become just a dream which you can see, then whatsoever you are just now will become a dream the next day. If you are young, then your youth will become a dream. If you are old, then your old age also will become a dream. One day you were a child; now the childhood has become just a dream and you can observe it.

It is good to start with the past. Observe the past and disidentify yourself from it; become a witness. Then observe the future, whatsoever you imagine about the future, and be a witness to that also. Then you can observe your present very easily, because then you know that whatsoever is present just now was future yesterday, and tomorrow it will become the past. But your witness is never past, never future. Your witnessing consciousness is eternal; it is not part of time. That is why everything that happens in time becomes a dream.

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